Matt Brady: Season Update

Hi again,

So far my season is off to a great start this year! I’m really excited to share my last week with you and how everything has started out for me since Christmas. After the break we headed up to Prince George, BC for our first few North American Cup races of the season. It started out fairly well for me with decent qualification times and good results. I placed 4th on the first day and 3rd on the second. This helped me get some confidence heading into my second-ever World Cup at Nakiska the following week. Unfortunately, that didn’t go as well for me placing 45th. I was really pleased with my run, however I made one crucial mistake at the top of the course costing me quite a bit of time down the course. I have attached the TV version of my run below if you are interested in watching.

After the World Cup, Nakiska held two more North American Cup races and a FIS race on the same course. These didn’t go great for me placing 7th, 9th and 4th on the final day. It was great to race with some of the World Cup caliber skiers and get ready to make a push when we headed to Europe.

Me at the Nakiska Nor Am

Four days later we flew to France where we would be for five days of racing. On the qualification day the weather was very inconsistent seeing everything from snowing and windy to sunny and hot. This played a big role in our qualification runs as I caught a head wind on my first run and placed 36th – which meant I wouldn’t be racing on the Thursday. This was tough for me to deal with but either way I had rally for my second run which would be the qualification for Friday’s race. The weather was much better for me this run and I was able to qualify in fifth place which was a big breakthrough for me as I have never qualified in the top 32 at a Europa cup race. The level of racing over here is much higher and I would consider it one step below World Cup.


On Friday it was Sunny and about +6 Degrees Celsius, a little warm for me and the course would be very soft. It was tough for me to judge what the competition level would be like in my first heat since I had never raced a heat over here before. Regardless, I had to take every race seriously and be focused in the hot weather. I was fairly quick out of the start on this course which helped me win every heat up until finals. In finals I was against one of my teammates, Tristan, and a Swiss who were both very talented. Tristan beat me out of the start and I shuffled in behind him the whole way down. I ended up second on the day and was absolutely blown away. I couldn’t get the smile off my face the whole day! Really exciting and can’t thank my team and coaches enough for helping me all day long!

 View from Orcieres

Thanks for reading about my journey so far this season and I will try and update again soon!

All the best,



Matt Brady: Summer Training

Hi All,

Thought I would give you an update on my summer training so far. I moved to Whistler with the development team on June 1st. Not so much for the glacier (although we just finished a ten day camp up there) but so we can train together in the gym and other dryland aspects. So far its been awesome with tons of biking, working out and events such as RedBull 400 (I’ll explain further below). Whistler is an awesome place to spend the summer! Our trainer out here is very high caliber, we have been doing lots of strength work and now heading into a speed & power phase. While in Whistler I also joined a touch rugby league on Tuesday nights. It’s been a lot of fun and a good way to get to know the locals. I have also been working with several doctors, sports psychologists, team chefs, nutritionists and physiotherapist to make sure I am 100% at the start of the ski cross season next winter. On Sunday I completed this race called RedBull 400. The race took place at the Olympic park and was 400 meters from the bottom of the landing to the top of the take off ramp, sounds easy right? Well it wasn’t. This may have been the hardest event I have ever done. In fact after my first time up, I threw up three times right in front of the camera (edit coming soon…). That didn’t seem to be enough for me so I got the courage up to do it a second time which was a real battle in the 32 degree heat. All in all a great day and congrats to my other teammates for doing the race as well! Hope everyone is having as good as a summer as me!

That’s all for now, and thanks for checking in!


Welcome Kasper Woolley

My name is Kasper Woolley I am 16 years old from Squamish BC and I ski for the whistler mountain ski club. I am going into my first year FIS this year after having a great season this year. Some highlights were first a provincials a couple times and a 7 place at whistler cup in GS. I have a goal of making the BC ski team next year. I would like to get some good points but my main focus right now is to get ready for this next season so I can put some good runs down and hopefully that will put me where I want to be. Right now I am mountain biking a lot trying to get my fitness up and going to the gym a couple times a week. I really want to train as hard as I can all summer so I can be ready to rip coming into the first race series. I am mountain biking more than usual right now because I am doing the test of metal in June which is a really long bike race that will take about 3 half hours. I am really looking forward to it since I haven’t done it before and its really going to boost my endurance coming into the strength part of my training. It really helps when you are fit so you can take advantage of each run when you are training and don’t get tired after a few runs. I am not sure when and where I am skiing this summer but I am hoping to ski about 4 weeks and then It will be early season training in the fall. I am super excited to be on the side cut team this year. It really helps when you tuning gear is fresh and working really well so your skies are in perfect condition for racing and training.
Make sure to check in through the year because l probably have more exciting news and you should check in anyway.

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Whistler ski-tuning startup now a national brand

We were excited to be featured in the Vancouver Sun this April. You can read the full article here

VANCOUVER — Christian Hillier isn’t your typical entrepreneur. He probably doesn’t even think of himself as one.

But that hasn’t stopped his fledgling Whistler ski tuning startup from growing into a national brand sought after by weekend warriors and professional racers alike.

Hillier introduces himself as a ski coach, not a founder and CEO. He talks about the need to provide better education, not the need to drive sales and increase profit margins. And he says he runs workshops, not product demonstrations or business pitches.

His company bought its first ad this winter, after 23 years in business without investing a nickel on marketing. If you Google Sidecut Tuning, Hillier’s company, you won’t find much, just his website, a Facebook page, and a few instructional YouTube videos.

“I started Sidecut because I wanted a set of tools that functioned perfectly and integrated together,” Hillier said in an interview. “Sidecut’s growth has been completely organic.”

Despite Sidecut’s absence of marketing, the brand has quietly grown through word of mouth. Its tools are now widely considered the most trusted by everyone from technicians in tuning shops, to national team athletes around the world.

To the ski racing community, Christian Hillier’s name has become synonymous with the highest quality of performance coaching. He obtained the highest certification of Canadian ski race coaching, the Canadian Ski Coaches’ Federation Level 4, the youngest Level 4 at the time.

He completed 30 back-to-back winters, alternating between the Northern Hemisphere and Southern Hemisphere. In his mid-20s, he founded the Australian ski coaching certification body, and became the Australian national team’s head coach afterwards, before coaching the British national team.

As a coach, Hillier found in Canada there was both a lack of high quality tuning tools and an understanding of how tuning impacts performance. Too often his racers would come to practices with skis that were poorly serviced or tuned with mediocre tools.

Hillier figured he could merge his ski racing acumen together with his mechanical skills to create top performing tuning tools. Luckily, his father, an engineer, and two uncles owned and operated an equipment production shop.

“During the night time, when nobody was around, I used to sneak into the shop and play around with the machinery,” Hillier said.

The equipment production shop is where Sidecut truly started. It was his lab for experimenting with prototypes, and the race hill became an extension of that lab, with ski racers testing and giving feedback on the tools.

Very quickly, race club athletes also became his first customers. They trusted Hillier as their coach and as a designer for ski tuning tools. But Hillier had another competitive edge. In races where skiers can reach speeds of 130 kilometres per hour and races can be won and lost by fractions of a second, skiers knew Hillier could teach them how to use the tools to make a difference.

Hillier spent the past 15 years travelling with his teams around the world, but he kept Sidecut operations back at home in Whistler. Friends helped him with storage, packaging, and delivery.

Through that time, Hillier never thought much about investing his time or money into advertising to drive more sales. He believed that providing an exceptional product in combination with the right education was the best way to run his company.

“I don’t want to sound really full of myself or anything, but what other ski tuning company out there in the world could say that an elite race coach not only designs, manufactures, and sells its tools, but also teaches you how to use them?” Hillier said.

“I think the reason why Sidecut has been around for so long despite not doing any marketing, and continues to be used in tuning shops and race clubs, is because people trusted me as their coach first and foremost, and knew I was devoted to help them succeed.”

At the beginning of last winter, Hillier decided to take a break from ski coaching and return home to Canada. He began visiting different race clubs and retailers to run workshops on ski tuning.

He also put together a series of instructional YouTube videos, called the Sidecut System, teaching people how to use Sidecut tools to tune their skis in an eight part series that totals 10 minutes.

“People loved the workshops and videos. Within the last 20 months, Sidecut sales tripled, and YouTube videos hit 10,000 views in only a few months,” he said.

Hillier plans to continue growing Sidecut through the same formula that helped the brand grow this winter — provide education as the driver of awareness and interest.

Hillier doesn’t think of himself as a genius entrepreneur. He considers himself an educator. He has made it work so that it’s all the same thing.


Brand Ambassador Matt Brady – Season Update v2.0

Hey Sidecut Followers,


Just thought I would give you an update on my season thus far. I am currently in Valmelenco, Italy where I am training for the World Junior Championships that take place in two days. Qualifying for World Juniors for the third consecutive year is something I am proud of and honored to represent Canada once again. This is my final year I am eligible to compete so I have my goals set high and hope to find success on Wednesday. Over the last week or so we have been racing quite a bit. We came to Italy on the 21st and went to Canazei to race their national championship weekend. I was able to win the FIS race day and I came third on the Italian Champs day. Being on top of the podium again felt great and helped me get my head right heading into World Juniors. After Canazei we headed to Saas Fee, Switzerland to race their national champs. It was a 25 second course that we would race at night. It was a really cool event to be a part of and I would like to see more of these sprint type races in the future. I was able to lock down eighth place overall which I was fairly happy with because of the level of competition. Definitely one of the top experiences of my ski cross career. Now I am in Italy back for World Juniors where hopefully I can find the podium again.


Wish me luck,


Matt Brady

Sidecut Ambassador


Brand Ambassador Matt Brady – Season Update

Hey Sidecut community,

Matt here checking in! Just wanted to give you an update on my season so far. It’s been a pretty weird season since we have constantly had to deal with the lack of snow in the west. We have had a lot of races cancelled and changed around due to the snow drought. After Christmas we headed to Europe to race some Europa Cups in France. The races went pretty well and definitely a good experience to gauge what happens when stacked up against the rest of the world. The courses over there were filled with big jumps and really smooth. Fast skis were essential to do well. After Europe we headed down to Colorado for our first two NorAms. I came 12th the first day after some crazy conditions and came 3rd the second day. I was also able to win qualifying times which has been a goal of mine over the last season and a half.

Since I have received my Sidecut tools I have been completely impressed. Their stones are the best I have ever used, and I really like how easy they are to clean. The files are also great, I found they are the perfect length. I really like the weight behind both the stones and the files as well. I enjoy the brushes and how easy it is to brush out the ski with them. Sidecut’s products are top quality and I would recommend their products to any level of skier.

Thanks for checking in and I hope everyone is enjoying their season!



Sidecut Ambassador Alex Gershon

Hi Sidecut Community,

My name is Alex Gershon, and I am a ski racer skiing for the Whistler Mountain Ski Club. I am 18 years old and have been skiing for about 16 years of my life. Ski racing became a pretty big part of my life around 6 years ago. I lived my entire life in the town of Whistler, British Columbia and skiing on Whistler Mountain.

I had some success in the first few years of my career, placing second in provincials, which gave me a bit of a moral boost and is probably one of the reasons that I am still racing and chasing the very elusive hundredths and tenths of a second. The next few years were fairly difficult for me, from dealing with sore knees and backs, changes in coaches and school becoming more demanding and stressful. Last year I was able to fix and few problems/injuries close to the end of the season and posted some of my best results (22nd and 27th in GS) at Senior Nationals here in Whistler. This season has started with my first set of Nor-Ams which definitely left me with an attitude adjustment and some goals to chase.

My goal with results this year would be to podium at U18 Nationals as this is my last year in this age category. Along with dropping my points, my main goal for this season is to be considered for and make BC Team. Improving my skiing is always a constant goal, but the big one right now is generating speed on every turn.

Thanks for reading and I’m really excited to be working with the Sidecut Team!


PS. Remember to wear a glove when tuning, stitches really suck :(

Sidecut Ambassador Alanna Walker

Racing GS in Mont Tremblant, Quebec
Racing GS in Mont Tremblant, Quebec
My name is Alanna Walker, I am 16 years old and race for the National Ski Academy in Collingwood, Ontario. This year is my first year racing in FIS and attending the NSA. I just finished a long 27 days of training and racing, starting in Sunday River for training and traveling to Val Saint Come, Mont Tremblant and Mont Saint Saveur in Quebec to race. These were my first FIS races ever and they did not compare at all to what racing had been like for me in my three years of U16. I now have to race against not only kids my age, but also people who are up to ten years older than me! Also, since it is my first year, my main goal for these races was simply to finish so I could lower my points, meanwhile in U16, points didn’t really matter all that much and if you fell, you still got a second run. Despite some of these differences, racing FIS is a new and exciting experience that has allowed me to continue in the sport that I love. In a week I will go back to Quebec and then to New York for more racing. This support given to me by Sidecut has also been an extremely wonderful bonus that I am unbelievably grateful for. Thanks so much for reading and I hope everyone had a great holiday break and enjoys the rest of their winter.



New Brand Ambassador – Matt Brady

Hey Sidecut community,


Matt Brady here, ski racer for the Canadian Ski Cross Development Team. A little background on myself is I am originally from Burlington, Ontario. I grew up skiing as a weekend warrior in a small town called Ellicottville in western New York racing since the age of eight. When I was the age of 16 I saw ski cross on TV at the X-Games and thought it was a really cool sport. I believe it was in the Olympics that year as well which influenced me even more to go and try it out. Lacking interest in alpine racing I went ahead and tried my first USASA open race at my local hill. I thought it was a lot more fun than alpine racing and decided to pursuit it full time. In grade 11 & 12 I decided to attend National Sports Academy in Lake Placid, New York for the winter semester. This way I could train every day and still keep up with my schooling.

Having a flash of success in grade twelve at USASA Nationals I decided to apply to the University of Calgary so I could ski with the Alberta Ski Cross team coached by, at the time, Stanley Hayer. In my first season with Alberta Ski Cross I was able to win my first North American Cup race and qualify for World Juniors. In my second season with Alberta Ski Cross I came 3rd overall on the North American Cup and 2nd place at Canadian nationals. This year I participated in my first World Cup at Nakiska, Alberta. It was a great learning experience and a good way to gauge where I need to be to compete with the best in the world. I am definitely hungry to get to that level as soon as possible.

My goals for this upcoming season are to podium at World Junior Championships as this is my last year I can compete there. I would also like to win the North American Cup overall. Aside from that I would like to podium at a Europa cup, and hopefully qualify at a World cup. As far as skiing goes I need to improve my technical skiing and aerodynamics.

If you would like to hear more about my season you can follow me on my personal blog at , or follow me on twitter and instagram with the handle @MattHowardBrady .

Thanks a lot for checking in and I’m really excited about the partnership with Sidecut!



Sidecut Ski Tuning + Product Knowledge Workshops

We’re getting organised again for our 2nd ‘across the country’ Sidecut Ski Tuning + Product Knowledge Workshops this October – December 2014.  Last pre-season we educated hundreds of Canadian athletes and parents from our headquarters in Whistler all the way to Quebec.  This year we plan to go further and we’d like to know if the club would be interested in hosting a tuning workshop?  We are offering this for free to help educate Canadian athletes and their parents about the importance of ‘ski tuning and it’s crucial link to skill development’.   Programs can choose either  a ‘learn by doing’  approach (workshop format) or a more traditional ‘visual /auditory’ approach.
Please let us know if you’re interested or would like more information.

Dates of Workshop Tour:

Oct 18th AOA seminar, ON
Oct 19th Toronto Ski Club, ON
Oct 25th Grouse Mountain, Vancouver, BC
Oct 26th Burke Mountain Academy, Vermont
Nov 1st Horseshoe Valley, ON
Nov 2nd Newmarket, ON (AM)
Nov 2nd Caledon, ON (PM)
Nov 4th Jasper, AB
Nov 5th Prince George, BC
Nov 8th Revelstoke, BC
Nov 16th – 6pm Cypress Ski Club, BC
Nov 22nd Mt. Washington, BC
Nov 23rd Whistler Ski Club, BC
Nov 29th Whistler Ski Club, BC
Dec 06th Bromont, QC
Dec 07th Sutton, QC
Dec 19th Devils Glen, ON
Dec 20th Horseshoe Valley, ON
Dec 21st Craigleith, ON